Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jan 18, 2022

Brayden 2022

The room was stifling hot. The fan was off, and the windows were shut tight. Brayden sat across from me, completely calm. He slowed his breathing down so he wouldn't perspire. I, however, was sweating buckets. We'd been sitting here for nearly two hours. I tried to convince him of the value of his life, and he insisted on how worthless it really was. I wouldn't say where he got the 9mm, and at this point, it really shouldn't have mattered because that's not important. What is important is that I convince him not to pull the trigger while he has the gun pointed to the underside of his chin. The beautiful lilt of the birds singing just outside the window and the sound of the gentle flow of wind as it lifted the thin branches of the moringa tree was a stark contrast to the scene of the disheveled bed which Brayden sat up against. Papers, magazines, and books were strewn about the floor, and random piles of clothes sat where Brayden took them off and let the articles fall on the carpet. The garbage pail was overstuffed with at least a month's worth of fast food packages and cans of high-energy drinks. There's just silence between us now, and I haven't taken my eyes off of him. He can't look at me; he'll glance up at the ceiling or somewhere else in the bedroom but never at me. He can't stand to see the disappointment in my face, but I've told him I'm not disappointed. I can understand why he came to this decision, but it's not the only decision to make. There are other choices aside from taking his own life. 

"Brayden," I sighed.

"Don't," he shook his head. "All you care about is having to clean up after me and making more work for you. Of course, if I killed myself somewhere else, it would be different, but I'm doing in the vicinity of your sphere, so it's an inconvenience. So don't act like you care because you don't."

"People will be sad, but after that, life will go on," I told him. "The world isn't going to come to a grinding halt like you wanted. And what's even more stupid is that you won't be here to witness the aftermath because you'll be dead," I was running out of patience and mercy. "If you're gonna do it, then do it, but know one thing, and I want you to hear this, so it burns into your soul, do you understand?"

"What could be so important, Ty?" He groaned,  gazing out the window, his eyes bloodshot and defeated.

"Kara didn't just leave you because she didn't love you anymore; she left you because she fell in love with me. In fact, a lot of times when you were at work or at school, we'd fuck right there on your bed," I told him. It took a moment for Brayden to absorb what I just told him, but once the realization of truth hit my brother, he slowly removed the gun from under his chin and pointed it straight at me. In a flash, he fired off the gun and emptied the entire clip right into my chest, and then it went right through me and embedded itself into the wall. That's when my father burst into the room and tackled Brayden to the floor, and wrestled the gun away from him. My father gave Brayden a stinging slap across the face, yelling at him the whole time, wanting to know what the hell he was doing? Brayden babbled something about Kara and me sleeping together. "Kara never slept with Ty, you idiot! She broke up with you because you're a nagging self-centered pussy! Besides, your brother had already been dead before Kara left you, you dumbass!"

"But he was here!" Brayden insisted to our father. "Ty was sitting right here, right in front of me! He told me he slept with Kara!"

I had to do something to get Brayden not to kill himself. Telling him, I slept with Kara was the only thing I could think of. Then, I had to work on his insecurities to emotionally blind him. Looks like it worked. Sure, Brayden inherited my room after I killed myself, but there was no way that I was going to let him take his life and just make a bigger mess. Not for me, cause it doesn't matter. I don't want him to leave a mess for my dad, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

photo credit: Unsplash

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